The federal spending effect on Md.
Why is Maryland's jobs picture better than most other states? A certain city to the south of us is a big part of the reason.
A new Census Bureau report offers a reminder of just how key federal spending is here. Federal funds earmarked for contracting work in Maryland last fiscal year topped $34 billion -- a 35 percent increase from a year earlier.
If we're a company town at all, that company is Uncle Sam Inc.
Jobs are a variable in the housing-market equation, so it makes sense to pay attention to the federal effect if you're trying to figure out what will happen to home sales.
On the one hand, there's BRAC -- the base realignment and closure effort -- bringing jobs to the area. And not just the jobs relocating from out of state. "Four military bases in Maryland are all getting hundreds of millions of dollars in construction spending," said Richard P. Clinch, director of economic research at the University of Baltimore's Jacob France Institute.
On the other hand, there's the sky-high budget deficit putting a cap on future growth. The Department of Defense, a major source of contracting dollars in Maryland, is promising to tighten its belt.
Clinch has long warned that the federal government can't continue spending at the pace it has, and that Maryland will feel the effects when that change comes. We might be getting to that point.
Do you think BRAC will outweigh any slowdowns or cuts to federal spending in Maryland?